Interacting with brands at digital touchpoints can sometimes be frustrating and time-consuming for users. Whether it’s an app with no added value, an online shop with inadequate filtering options or a website that makes it unnecessarily complicated to configure cookie settings. Experiences like these lead to consumers feeling aggravated or even deceived and – in the worst case – turning away from  the brand.

Today, digital experiences play a crucial role in brand loyalty – users’ high expectations must be met. It therefore pays off for brands to invest in a compelling digital experience. We have developed a simple framework with five useful elements against which we can measure our work. We call this framework U.N.I.T.E.

U – Unbiased

More than ever before, we are confronted with fake news. But the risk of disinformation doesn’t just arise with political and social issues; it even happens during day-to-day digital interactions. ‘Book now – offer only valid today’ – most people will likely have come across manipulation like this when booking a trip, for example. While experiences like these are effective when it comes to conversion – which makes customers happy – they also annoy users immensely. There is no definitive answer for or against it, but a value like ‘unbiased’ at least triggers an open discussion between the team and the customer about the best course of action.

Brands need to create and deliver online content, interactions and digital services that are fair, trustworthy, ethical and honest – or in short: unbiased. This also applies to the use of algorithms. Companies must ensure that they do not favour one group or individual over another. What’s more, the way algorithms work and the intention behind digital interactions must be transparent for users. This includes disclosing how digital systems work, how data is used and how decisions are made.

N – Noteworthy

Digital experiences can be described as ‘noteworthy’ if they overcome boundaries and set new standards. They are characterised by exceptional craftsmanship and love for detail. The magic behind these remarkable digital experiences comes from the seamless integration of technology and design – coupled with an innovative approach to storytelling.

How about an example? Sports equipment manufacturer Nike has been underscoring its innovative strength for years. It was one of the first to offer custom sneaker configuration online. With a very early presence in the metaverse, the Nikeland, Nike continues to play a pioneering role in the field of new technologies. The manufacturer is also one of the top sellers in the NFT business with several virtual sneaker collections. With its digital collectables, Nike has opened up a completely new business segment – and yet again triggered a hype among fans.

I – Impactful

Digital experiences have to make an impact. This means that online platforms, tools and services should not only be intelligent when it comes to their functionality; they also have to offer added value for companies and users. Advanced technologies such as AI can also be used to offer efficient, personalised, context-related and adaptive services. It’s also important to regularly update digital touchpoints based on user feedback and new trends to ensure they remain relevant and effective. Their effectiveness can be measured quantitatively, for example using KPIs such as user loyalty and conversion rates.

A successful example of this is the MTA Live Subway Map, a real-time map of the New York subway network. Based on data from the MTA – the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, North America’s largest transportation network – the map is dynamically redrawn to ensure rail lines are up to date and move in real time. Users can, for example, filter by train line or view special/emergency timetables. The added value for more than eight million daily subway users is obvious.

T – Tailored

Why is Spotify the most popular music streaming app? Whether it’s a personal review of the year, creating playlists with friends, the intelligent algorithm or simple access from different devices – Spotify has created what we call a tailor-made digital experience.

User-centricity is at the heart of these experiences: every aspect of the digital interaction is personalised and relevant to the user. They are also responsive, which means they adapt to changing user preferences, behaviours and circumstances in real time, ensuring dynamic and engaging interaction. The same goes for Spotify: whether you’re in your car, sitting on your laptop or at a party, the platform adapts to the user’s sessions and the experience remains consistent.

E – Easy

What good is the most creative, groundbreaking digital experience if users don’t understand or misunderstand the intent behind it? Precisely: no good at all. In addition to everything else, it’s important to ensure that digital experiences are simple, clear and efficient – in short: user-friendly. Users should find the interaction uncomplicated, efficient and effortless. This could be intuitive navigation on a website, for example, fast loading times, quick access to frequently used features or efficient customer support.


With U.N.I.T.E., we at Plan.Net have developed a framework that defines the elements of an extraordinary, differentiating digital experience. Not all five elements need to be considered equally in all digital experiences. Sometimes one factor is more important than another. Just like with cooking, how much of any particular ingredient is needed depends on the dish. But the framework provides our teams and our customers with the structure we need for our operations and discussions.

In addition, with our specially developed U.N.I.T.E. audit tool, we can quickly evaluate an existing customer experience and make thematic and targeted recommendations that can enhance individual interfaces or the entire ecosystem of the experience.


Author: Christian Waitzinger, CXO  Plan.Net Group

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